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Player Analysis: Why Chelsea's Christian Atsu could be key for Ghana against Germany

Published on: 21 June 2014
Christian Atsu

For 78 minutes on Monday Ghana’s Christian Atsu was the best player in the pitch.

The Chelsea winger perfectly exploited the weak point in the USA line-up, left-back DaMarcus Beasley and was a constant threat to the US defence. However despite Atsu’s impressive performance he ended up with nothing to show at the end of the match, as Ghana lost 2-1 to USA.

Next up for Atsu and Ghana is an even tougher task in the shape of Germany, who represent a daunting prospect following their dominant 4-0 victory over Portugal.

Ghana know that another defeat will knock them out of the World Cup and that they will need a positive result against one of the favourites for the overall tournament.

If Ghana are to get a positive result they will need Atsu to be at his decisive best. Atsu, as against the USA will be up against one of the weak points of the opposition, this time in the shape of Schalke’s Benedikt Howedes.

The defender is a centre back by trade for his club in Germany’s first match he was utilised at left-back. He was actually part of a quartet of central defenders playing for Germany with Jerome Boateng playing at right-back.

Atsu registered a performance score of 22, the third highest score of the Ghana team and he created three chances, the second highest of his team.

His pace and trickery made him a real threat and logic would dictate that Ghana will sit deep so his speed will prove to be vital on the break.

Ghana’s defence seems suspect and it is highly unlikely that Germany won’t score, probably more than once so they need to ensure that they remain an attacking force.

The other key thing for Ghana’s success will be how well Daniel Opare can support Atsu. Against the USA Jermaine Jones did well to keep Opare quiet for the majority of the match and ensured that Atsu was the only threat to the defence.

Against Portugal Mario Goetze started on the left hand side but he often drifted inside, meaning that there may be opportunities for Opare to support Atsu more regularly than against the USA.

This match could also prove to be key in finding out where Atsu is going to be playing his football next season. The winger was signed by Chelsea last season but spend the entire 2013-14 season out on loan with Dutch side Vitesse, where he impressed.

However at the moment it remains unclear whether Atsu will be utilised by Jose Mourinho or sent out on loan again. The likely scenario will be that he is loaned out but an impressive performance could see him end up at a higher profile club than Vitesse.

Ghana are facing a tall order and sadly, in all likelihood, they could well be leaving the World Cup after their match against Germany.

If they are to upset the form book Atsu will have to be at his very best, and show Mourinho exactly what he is capable of.

With his pace he has the ability to trouble Howedes or even Erik Durm should Joachim Low choose to change things up and don’t be surprised to see captain Philipp Lahm tasked with tracking the young winger.


This article has 14 comment(s), give your comment
  • readi 2 dye says:
    June 21, 2014 09:04 am
    Please no more atsu...he is very immature, think he will better next world cup if he learns there is no I in team.....his many touches usually ends in nought cuz he has no desire to give that great pass...I think his ego has been infected due to earlier stories that he is one of the players to watch...looks like he is auditioning for his career instead of being a team player....he is working to hard to please these aliens instead of being himself....
  • selfmade says:
    June 21, 2014 01:06 pm
    Atsu was useless in our match against the yanks and he play too close to the by line too much! Mess I doesn't do that! If a player plays too close to the by line, all that a defender has to do is to clear the ball for a throw-in!! Again, considering the fact that he can't really dribble his way around, he justs run with the ball,stop play and gives a back pass and he did this several times in our match against the yanks and that made the yanks to re-organise themselves at the back! He is short and not too strong on the ball and he easily gets tired quickly,so it all be prudent to bring him in the dying mins of the game!
  • selfmade says:
    June 21, 2014 01:13 pm
    He couldn't even dribble old and tired Beasley how much more these tall, giant Germans! This guy should be bench because he is busy for nothing player! Again, someone needs to tell this guy that he needs to cut in and then GIVE A LOW SWEEPING CROSS RATHER THAN THE LONG, USELESS HIGH CROSSES! I can't simply believe our players and bench sometimes! Taking the USA match as a typical eg, the yanks has massive tall bodies in the penalty area and instead of us cutting in to give low sweeping crosses, we rather was making their easier by floating in long poor high crosses which was easily dealt with because Jordan is short like a midget too!! We have to learn because the Germans are tall and any high balls all be easily be clear by them!!
  • Joe says:
    June 21, 2014 12:15 pm
    A reliable source says that this will be the Ghana line-up against Germany: Fatau, Afful, Kwadwo, Jonathan, Boye, Muntari, Atsu, Rabiu, Gyan, Boateng, Ayew.
  • benny says:
    June 21, 2014 11:11 am
    This is a must win game.We can't afford to hope and rely on any team to do us a favour. Atsu was not bad against USA but we want more than his one sided and obvious way of playing .AA is to blame for not urging Atsu and Dede to interchange. Atsu should be on the bench.
  • SHAOLIN says:
    June 21, 2014 01:52 pm
    I don't know what you guys are talking about,big ego or not,ATSU was the most impactful player against USA.The only Ghana player that was constantly pressuring the US defense.The only player who had a little success in breaking down the US defense. If Ghana is going to win this game they will need speedy and versatile players the could break a solid German defense down then link up with the forwards.At the moment we only have 2 such players, K. ASAMOAH and ATSU.I don't see K. ASAMOAH alone getting the job done.The starting 11 will be crucial for this match.If the dumb ,clueless and incompetent coach fields the wrong first 11 then its lights out for Ghana. Maybe the witch Doctor who predicted an early exit for GHANA would be proven right because the team was handed over to a coach who has no coaching experience even at the local level. AA shouldn't be within a sniffing distance of the National Team .Wrong starting 11 at the right positions and we get smoked by Germany.
  • African Consciousness says:
    June 21, 2014 01:54 pm
    Atsu was able to dribble past the USA defense at will, his perfect pass in the box to Jordan was botched by the latter. He made a perfect deep cross to Dede but Dede did not track the ball. Atsu then started taking uncharacteristic shots from distance. Now that Waris is back in the line up Atsu will be able to use his dribbling skills to help break down the German defense. He should come in as a sub for Dede. Atsu and Kwadwo Asamoah are the best creative forces the Black Stars have so stop calling him useless. Is is it his fault that Jordan could not connect on the same play that he connected against S. Korea?
  • Pepa says:
    June 21, 2014 01:52 pm
    How can u People Talk That Bad ? They are all doing their best in a Game And now especially Atsu U Should Play Football than u will Feel the pressure Thats Ur Team so Support dont always Talk Bad He did it amazing in this Game And all Medien are saying it so why z all re saying something Else ?
  • Baba says:
    June 21, 2014 01:47 pm
    He did a Great Job How come Medien Are saying he Was the best and u all are saying different? Think about it. He did Great and this time they all will win
  • Boro says:
    June 21, 2014 01:47 pm
    What a selfish proposal. Because you want Atsu to play at Chelsea so he should start against the Germany despite being the most wasteful player against the US. He created all the chances but also made sure they are all wasted by shooting all the balls over the bar. This game is a must win and cannot experiment Wasteful Astu in that game for your selfish purpose. This team has a lot of talents such that no player can get a second chance if his first is so amateurish like that performance exhibited by Astu in the US game especially for the midfield players.
  • bisa says:
    June 21, 2014 02:11 pm
    Atsu is too selfish! he is just not a team player. I think he is looking for personal glory and that is not what Ghana needs at the moment.
  • ?2U says:
    June 21, 2014 02:36 pm
  • Paa Joe says:
    June 21, 2014 08:20 am
    Who wrote this nonsense ? who is ATSU , he was most useless player ever don jersey. He was unpreductive all his duration in the match. Dont ever write any piece about the useless Atsu any more . He is a waste of space in the team
  • stlexis says:
    June 21, 2014 06:10 pm
    Give credit where it is due. Good luck to you Atsu. Go Black Stars